PHILADELPHIA — These Mets are built for power. For better or worse, this is nothing new. In each of the past two seasons, few teams in baseball have relied more on the home run to generate their runs.
Yet, in a 5-4 loss to the Phillies in 11 innings Wednesday night, none of that pop could save them from a game-winning infield single.
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The speedy Peter Bourjos legged out his critical hit, rolling a grounder up the line that forced third baseman David Wright to attempt an off-balance throw.
It came after Freddy Galvis’ one-out double off Hansel Robles, an intentional walk to David Lough, and then a wild pitch that catcher Travis d’Arnaud blamed on himself.
“I still should have caught that ball,” said d’Arnaud, who failed to hang onto a Robles fastball that sailed well outside.
Even still, the Mets missed a chance to end the inning. Emmanuel Burriss flied out after an unsuccessful suicide squeeze attempt. And on the first pitch of Bourjos’ key at-bat, he lifted a foul pop that Wright missed by about 6 inches in front of the fence in foul ground.
“Game of inches,” Wright said after watching Bourjos make the most out of a second chance.
With that, the Phillies spilled out of their dugout after sparing themselves a sweep. The Mets (7-7) had won three straight and five of their last six. But as they enter a scheduled off day, they will settle for simply taking two of three on the second leg of their nine-game road trip.
“It would have been nice to take all three,” d’Arnaud said.
With the Philies leading 3-2, Yoenis Cespedes hit a game-tying homer in the fifth, and the suddenly-surging Lucas Duda immediately followed with a go-ahead shot. It was his third homer in as many games.
For the first time in team history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Mets hit back-to-back home runs in three consecutive games.
The Mets have hit 19 home runs in their last six games, the most over any six-game span in franchise history, according to Elias. The previous mark was 18 from Aug. 18-25, 2015.
But situational hitting cursed the Mets. After stranding Curtis Granderson at second base in the 11th, they finished just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Indeed, power wasn’t enough.
“Of course it’s concerning, it’s always concerning,” manager Terry Collins said of his team’s situational futility.
Wright watched a possible homer die at the centerfield fence in the 11th, though if it had been hit earlier, the breeze would have helped it out. It was one of two near-misses that cost the Mets.
In the second, Asdrubal Cabrera’s blast to rightfield did not survive a crew chief’s review. His three-run shot became a ground-rule double, good enough to knock in only one run. The umps ruled that a fan had reached over the fence to snag the ball once it bounced off the top of the fence.
After holding the Phillies to three runs and four hits in six innings, Bartolo Colon left the game with a 4-3 lead, in line for victory No. 220. Among pitchers born in the Dominican Republic, it would have ranked him second only to Hall of Famer Juan Marichal (243).
Instead, Colon did not factor into the decision. In the seventh, Lough scored the game-tying run on Bourjos’ single off setup man Addison Reed.
Meanwhile, the Mets’ all-or-nothing offense did not score after hitting their back-to-back homers.
Said Collins: “When you strike out 17 times, we probably swung at some balls out of the zone.”